June 16, 2006

Martyrs of the Nazi Persecution

Today in my community we celebrate the memory of the Capuchin friars who were among the many victims of the Nazis canonized by John Paul II. If you scroll down a bit, you can see and read about them here.

Last summer I spent some time working in our infirmary, where I met a friar who knew these martyrs. While he was a student Father Zygmund was taken with them to Dachau. Unlike those we remember today, he survived until the liberation of the camp.

Father Zygmund's concentration camp stories were fascinating. They were always simultaneously funny and horrifying. He said that he was able to make a lot of friends because he spoke German. One of his friends was a Jewish barber who was so big and burly that "all the guards were afraid of him." Zygmund spoke with glee and almost jumped up and down as he recalled the guards being afraid of his friend the big barber. And then the story ends: "so then they shot him."


Paula said...

I read about all of them. Each story is very touching. Thanks Friar Minor.

Lisa, sfo said...

Howdy, good Friar! Thankee for adding my site to your Franciscan Blogroll, an' I've added you to the "Franciscan Blogs" section of my site's Blogroll Bits. :-)

It's such a delight to find Family members in the blogosphere!

Purrs 'n' pax!